Monday, February 28, 2011

EconomicsUSA: Labor Unions: Alternative union poses questions Christians don't want to face

I read an over-titled blog entry that purported to offer "An Alternative Theory of Unions" when the text hasn't even risen to the status of hypothesis yet, let alone a genuine theory.  Be that as it may, I recommend you go to the  blog site for Paul Graham  where a May 2007 blog entry "An Alternative Theory of Unions" to check out what one sincere person was thinking four years ago.  But I must say I liked the logo image Graham heads his webpage with:

You'll notice it's an entirely male vision of who the American worker is.  That's not true of the union that I regard as a genuine in American worklife, the Christian Labour Association - USA.

CLAC-USA (Feb28,2k11)

Is the Christian Labor Association  a real Union?

The Christian Labor Association is a bona fide trade union recognized by the United States Government through the National Labor Relations Board.

Where is the CLA - I haven't heard of them?

The CLA is comprised of members located throughout the United States. Although there are larger unions, you will feel the support from union members across the country working in building construction, highway and heavy construction, transportation, manufacturing, dairy, and the poultry industries.

What about the reference to "Christian" ?

Christian Principles are in our founding and guiding philosophy, the CLA is not a church or a church-based organization. We accept and represent members of all faiths.

Will my dues support politicians or political activity?

No. But did you know that some unions support certain political parties or agendas. We believe that you should have the right to make up your own mind about what political party to support.

What type of benefits does the CLA-USA offer?

Our members are provided access to health insurance, life insurance, dental, vision, income replacement insurance and defined benefit and defined contribution retirement benefits.

Now the above text from CLA's FAQ page is not a theory.  Rather, it introduces you to the union by seizing on questions heard over and over by staff and members at the very mention of its name, which is historically significant, as it was adopted in 1931 at the union's founding.  Maybe you have the same questions off the cuff upon hearing about CLA-USA for the first time.

But there are plenty of Christian philosophical ideas regarding working and workers and workers organizations, a Christian philosophy of labor and labor unions that are in accord with the Christian Principles of labor organization and service to workers who choose a way of being represented that guided by a moral vision of work relations (there are labor unions guided by a vision in other countries like Canada and the Netherlands).  The thing is that CLA-USA is not a theory institution.  Theorizing alternatively in regard to labor and labor organization is something primarliy to be done by intellectuals, not least of all intellectuals who are supporters of CLA-USA, a small union that constitutes the only Christian union in American society.  As we said, it's been around since 1931, is recognized by the US government and states in which it operates, and is certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

With President Barack Obama's devotion to the secularistic unions that dominate those Americans who are organized into unions in their workplaces, and the President's current stacking of the National Labor Relations Board, we can expect a drive to illegitimatize CLA-USA and in effect snuff it out.  CLA says of its founding 8 decades ago, "'The main difference between the new union and the older established ones was philosophical. But it's a huge important difference, one that all workers should be aware of."
It's vitally important today too.  But CLA has to grow in America.  Click up their site to email them today.  Email CLA-USA to ask what you can do to help them grow.

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